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The Ugly Side of Expansion

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by KOpharaoh, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. KOpharaoh

    KOpharaoh Chieftain

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    So, here I am, hooking up with my main man Survayarman II of Khmer. On Noble diff, BtS, Continents map. I keep an eye on my tech rate as I use the worker-warior-worker-settler method. All of a sudden I go from 100% tech down to 60% in a heartbeat, so I stop after 3 cities. But, I see the tech rate go down even MORE to a mere 30%. I'm still winning, because the only civ I've met was HRE. But I'm in trouble. Is there any way I can salvage this game, and if not, what should I do next time?
     
  2. TCMIV

    TCMIV Barış Manço

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    Get pottery and work some cottages, or settle commerce heavy cities (gold/silver/gems/fur) first. It's common for tech rate to drop drastically as you settle your first few cities and it's nothing to worry about generally. Post a save and people can give you more specific advice.

    If I'm remembering Surys traits correctly he's expansive/creative, which makes getting your cities to be productive is very easy if you're building enough workers, since you generate 2 culture per turn in all cities and can work your BFC much faster than non-creative civs.
     
  3. kossin

    kossin Chieftain

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    60% rule is bogus.

    As long as you have Pottery, keep 1.5 workers/city (or enough so that there are no unimproved tiles being worked) and get to Writing, shut off research, amass gold while building libraries to run scientists and then resume research (presumably Alphabet).
    If you have unimproved tiles being worked, queue a worker at the top of the build list and 2-pop whip him when it's possible.

    The only time you're in trouble is when you have negative gpt at 0% slider. Land is power on every level (although there are a few situations where techs are more important).

    Also, open borders and get a trade network with neighbors, it's easy commerce.

    After Alphabet get Currency and you're set to keep expanding. Trade for Mathematics/Iron Working etc.
     
  4. Sporknife

    Sporknife Chieftain

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    Youre fine up till about 30%. I call having a 60% science economy stable :p I usually go down to 0%, sometimes i even go on strike if it means more good cities in the endgame (though i do play on immortal, so it makes a difference)

    Just make sure you can get any two of currency/CoL/monarchy by 1ad.
     
  5. dirtyparrot

    dirtyparrot Upholding Brannigan's Law

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    Hehe, 30% means that you can go another 20-30% lower as long as you have either teched pottery and/or pottery. Running scientists and/or building cottages can keep your research afloat while your economy recovers. The slider doesn't mean a whole lot: what matters is the amount of beakers you have. If you are in severe financial (which should be difficult on Noble), just work your higher commerce tiles (esp. gold, silver, etc).
     
  6. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    As pointed out, it matters little where your slider is. Having enough workers means that you can improve your commerce output by putting up cottages where appropriate so the tech rate should pick up again soon enough. Try to not work unimproved tiles and you should be fine.

    Also focus on economic techs. Early ones are sailing (for trade routes over coastal tiles), writing (for open borders and libraries) and pottery for the granary and cottages.

    The slider dropping is something that comes with expansion and it is nothing that should be feared. Just keep in mind that if you settle cities you need workers to improve the land around those cities. If you do that the cities will have better output sooner which is a major plus to your economy.

    Soon enough you will see that the slider is basically something that will give you a minor indication of how far you can expand and still be better off, but it is not something you will want to rely on by itself. So I bet your game can still be salvaged. If you need more specific advice on what to do, please post screenshots of the tech situation, diplomatic situation, demographics, land with and without resource bubbles and a safe and you should get all the advice you will need to win this game.
     
  7. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    Sury is cre/exp which gives fast border pops and you make workers faster. You should be able to expand really well with him. The UB gives a bonus on food for even more growth.

    For the slider, take a look at the actual number of beakers you are making per turn, not the the percent. If you get down around 8 or 9 BPT, its going to take you quite a while to research anything. When you get a chance, take a look at how many beakers each of those starting techs will cost. Some are pretty cheap, some are not. You cant keep researching all the cheap ones while you expand because eveuntually your reseach rate will run out. So you need cottages, libraries and scientitst. All easy to get with Sury.

    Later on you need Alpha, Monarchy, currency and CoL, then you expand some more.
     
  8. CHEESE!

    CHEESE! ROCKETS GONNA GETCHA

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    Well said.
     
  9. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    I lolled.

    But in all earnest he is right if you replace one pottery with writing. You can then keep on teching pretty much forever. Therefore you can expand forever since the cottages keep growing and growing and you can alsways get more commerce.

    Of course 'always expanding' should be taken with a grain of salt here since the AI will settle too and you will run out of space, but you will be able to settle pretty much anything you can get to in time. On the higher difficulties this may cost you trading opportunities in the early medieval era and it may even cost you liberalism, but once you have recovered in the ealry industrial era you will be a real power.
     
  10. Kietharr

    Kietharr Chieftain

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    1. Have writing and bronzeworking (if this downturn is starting BEFORE you have these techs then you've got much bigger problems)
    2. Whip libraries in every city
    3. Run a scientist in every city

    The scientists will keep your research coming while you rebuild for a CE, or you can switch labor to caste system and run as many scientists as possible, completely forgoing cottages. Cottage based economies tend to be superior lategame but earlygame a specialist economy allows for much more flexibility, especially where expansion is concerned because you're effectively using food rather than commerce to fuel research.
     
  11. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    Right now I am trying to imagine how many cities a creative civ running Caste and zero slider could afford with libs & scientists in every city.
     
  12. yanner39

    yanner39 Chieftain

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    Also, it's important to be patient. Maybe my current game can serve as an example.

    I tried t make the jump from Noble to Monarch and my confidence was taking a beating so I scaled back to Prince. So my first Prince game, I am playing with Julius Ceasar, Normal Speed, Hemispheres, 2 massive continents. My neighbors are/were Brennus, Isabella, and Hatty. What I tried to do is expand peacefully and not use the "advantage" of having Praetorians. So I focused on REXing and I managed to seal off half of the continent to myself. When Hatty's culture was starting to be a pain, I took her out with my Praets. So now it's 720AD, I have 14 cities to and the others have 8 or 9.

    But before I took out Hatty, I had like 9 cities at 375BC . That has never happened tome. My slider was at 0%, I had no gold. What's even funnier is that I couldn't get to the gold mines fast enough. What I realized though is I had more than enough workers. The workers were cottage spamming (rivers first) and I managed to get through without my units going on strike. The increase commerce was slowly helping me recover.

    I think the point is that getting land is very important and you must resist the urge to scrap the game if you slider is at 0%. And you should have writing relatively early in the game, so when you have the chance to get Libraries, whip them, run scientists. Their research alone should be enough to get you to alphabet. In my game, I REXed pretty well, I went for Monarchy before Currency/Code of Laws.
     
  13. CivMcNut

    CivMcNut Having Fun At It

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    Many times when you're doing something that causes that slider to drop way down low, is when you're setting yourself up for victory later on. On the higher difficulties it's pretty common to get in a hole if you have any sized empire at all. Once you start getting these key techs people are talking about, things will get better. You have to be careful what you research. Having more land is a good thing in the long run.
     
  14. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    Your game is only "over" if you are 0% and have no way to get more commerce / beakers. This means cottages (Pottery), libraries (Writing), and probably wood-chopping and slavery to get out workers and libraries (Bronze Working). So try not to crash the economy until you have those techs. I have sometimes delayed Pottery (DaveMcW is screaming somewhere) when I had bad land for cottages, but in that case you are completely dependent on Libraries, trade routes, shrine income, and whatever commerce tiles you can dig up.

    IMO, Monarchy is usually more important than Currency / CoL. Vertical growth costs you less maintenance that a new city and enables city specialization fairly early in the game. There are occasions where I've done Currency first, but typically that's when I had an abundance of happiness from other sources.

    Block the AIs, settle the good land first, and get the key early economic techs.
     
  15. Monsterzuma

    Monsterzuma the sly one

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    REX doesn't have much of an ugly side on Noble when you're not doing something really strange. On higher levels, the trick is to expect to be losing money on your cities. Settle those that are worth having for their price, and focus on commerce and science generation to bounce back from the maintenance hit.
     
  16. yanner39

    yanner39 Chieftain

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    How do you feel about Monarchy before Writing? I've tried this a couple of times. The idea is to get vertical expansion going as quickly as possible, especially food rich maps. The only downside is delaying a great scientist for the ever-important Academy.
     
  17. KOpharaoh

    KOpharaoh Chieftain

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    Thank you all for your help. I'm a bet inept on how to post a save. But I just feel more comfortable starting over, if none of you mind. I'll be sure to remember your hints, most importantly, patience with the tech meter, not quitting prematuely, and gathering the important techs first. In the game I was reffering to, I was already into the early ADs without having yet researched Sailing, which of course, is a no-no on Continents when you have rival Civs that you don't know about building away. I'm not very familar with strategy games, so the patience part is a bit difficult for me to learn, but I understand it's important.

    Question: I've heard the phrase "whip them" many times on these boards and while I know it has to do something with slavery, I'm not sure exactly how that works. In my understanding, the slavery civic works by itself, which by your responses I guess isn't true.

    PS- Yeah, Surv is a godsend. 25% faster worker production is awesome. I honestly picked Khmer becuase of the starting techs; mining (for bronze working) and hunting (for the scout to find me a good 2nd city location).
     
  18. Sportyatuncw06

    Sportyatuncw06 Chieftain

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    Kopharoh I am not as skilled as a lot of these other guys but I didn't know anything about specialist and whipping and bulbing and such and did quite well on noble. I didn't pick up any of those tricks until I really got into this website and started focusing my game and moving to monarch. I think the type of board you are playing and type of neighbors you have should dictate expansion as much or more so than sliders or beakers. Often I would wait a bit before expanding on noble. There were times I would build Stonehenge and Oracle before my first settler (I know everyone will gasp at that one).
    One thing I never do is build scouts. You have 10 turns without animal barbs on noble (I think that's right) and like 30 or 40 without warrior barbs. Animals can't penetrate cultural borders. Take your initial warrior out scouting, then build one to protect your city. Warriors move slower than scouts but they are useful even after scouting is done. If I ever get scouts I disband them as soon as my continent is scouted. The only time I would build a scout is if playing a large board, or pangea, and the only after I had built a couple of settlers. Use warriors for scouting nearby and then they can escort settlers also.
     
  19. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Chieftain

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    There is a button in the city screen which allows you to sacrifice population for :hammers:. It will light up when you have enough population to finish the current build AND are in the slavery civic. The button immediately to the right will light up when you are in Universal Suffrage and have enough :gold: to finish a build. The example below has the slavery button shown, in a global view mode. (the button appears in the same place in city view)
     
  20. KOpharaoh

    KOpharaoh Chieftain

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    Well, if you plan on expanding quickly, scouts can reveal places a lot faster, so that's their purpose. Don't forget they also get great results from goody huts. There were times were I literally got a tech from almost every hut I passed by. But you're right though, alot of the technicial stuff isn't vitally important. I just sometimes have trouble understanding what's going on. I played one game on settler with Qin on vanilla, then I jumped right up to Noble on BtS. I was able to get by on settler without knowing a lot, but on Noble, I had to know a bit more. I for one actually like the idea of growing cities before expanding to more cities. It's less you have to worry about. You can micromanage your big city easier than managing three small ones. But eventually, whatever land you don't grab is going to the AI anyway, so I don't know about building TWO world wonders before expanding to 2 cities.
     

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